STUCK IN NEU­TRAL

The Washington Times Weekly - - Politics -

The Times of Lon­don and The Huff­in­g­ton Post were among many news or­ga­ni­za­tions which re­ported ru­mors that Bri­tain’s es­teemed Oxford Uni­ver­sity ordered its stu­dents to use the gen­der-neu­tral pro­noun “ze” rather than “he” or “she” when re­fer­ring to fel­low stu­dents. In a for­mal state­ment is­sued Mon­day, the uni­ver­sity — founded in 1167 — hoped to clear up the mat­ter.

“We would like to clearly state that we would never tell any­one to use ‘ze’ pro­nouns in­stead of ‘he’ or ‘she’ if ‘he’ or ‘she’ is the pro­noun some­one wishes to use. That would be mis­gen­der­ing and would likely have the big­gest im­pact on in­di­vid­u­als (ie, some trans stu­dents) who may al­ready be strug­gling to get peo­ple to use ‘he’ or ‘she’ for them. It would be to­tally coun­ter­pro­duc­tive.”

“We do how­ever sug­gest the use of gen­der­less pro­nouns like sin­gu­lar ‘they’ to re­fer to in­di­vid­u­als whose pro­nouns haven’t been con­firmed. This avoids as­sum­ing what pro­nouns a per­son uses based solely on how they present them­selves. We also rec­om­mend that at events like campaign meet­ings, work­shops and train­ing ses­sions, peo­ple in­tro­duce them­selves with their pro­nouns.”

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